By Rob Potter
MOUNTAINDALE July 12, 2002 The Sullivan Spartans rebounded from a tough loss the way all teams like to with a victory.
On Wednesday night, the Spartans defeated the Montgomery Cardinals, 4-2 in a Collegiate Baseball League (CBL) Cobb Division game at Baxter Stadium in Mountaindale. Two nights after suffering a 2-1 loss at Pine Bush, the Spartans used solid pitching and good defense to clip the Cardinals wings.
Spartans pitcher Sean McGuire went the distance to earn the victory. He gave up only two hits and struck out 10 Montgomery batters.
Sean was just phenomenal tonight, Sullivan Spartans Manager Tim Havas said. He pitched very well.
We had a couple of tough losses earlier this season and Sean came back the next game and was a stopper, Spartans Player/Coach Jed Carrier said. Like tonight, he allowed just two or three hits in those games. He pitched great and you cant ask for anything more.
Havas noted that the Spartans used timely hitting and productive outs to score their runs.
Sullivan (9-12, 5-1 Cobb Division) grabbed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second. James Biondo drew a one-out walk and then stole second base. Jim Kautz walked to put two runners on base.
The next batter, Lance VanDermark, hit a grounder to third but reached base safely thanks to an errant throw by Montgomery third baseman Reese Watson. Biondo scored on the play and Kautz scored when the next batter, Bill Reichmann, grounded out to first base.
Montgomery (8-8, 4-4 Cobb Division) responded with a pair of runs in the top of the third. Chris Vellanga, who reached base when he was hit by a McGuire pitch, scored on a double by Bob Timke. The next batter, Phil Kump, hit a bloop single to center field to bring Timke to the plate with the tying run.
An RBI single by Jesus Pintado in the fourth gave the Spartans a 3-2 lead.
The Spartans extended their advantage in the bottom of the sixth. Pinch runner Brian Heavy, who ran for Kautz after he singled to lead off the inning, moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by VanDermark. Reichmann then ripped a double to right field, allowing Heavy to score and make it a 4-2 game.
After stealing third, Reichmann tried to score on Scott Coddingtons bloop single to center. But center fielder Kump threw a strike to Cardinal catcher Justin Fowler, who then tagged out a sliding Reichmann.
That insurance run in the bottom of the sixth was huge, Havas said. There is an enormous difference between a one-run lead and a two-run lead.
McGuire, who set the Cardinals down in order in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, allowed a one-out single to Fowler in the seventh. But he promptly struck out the next two batters, Charles Bellfury and John Donohue, to seal the win for the Spartans.
They have a nice team, Montgomery Manager Leo Timke said of the Spartans. They played good defense tonight and had good pitching. That was a big win for them.
Since starting the season with a 1-8 mark, the Spartans have been winning the majority of their games.
Were playing with confidence, Carrier said. Were 8-4 in our last 12 games.
Sullivan will look to keep playing with confidence and add to its win total over the next few days. The Spartans play a doubleheader at Kingston on Sunday and play host to Montgomery again Monday night.